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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 19, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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breaking news, no art, no deal. the president tries to wrap up 11th hour talks to prevent a government shutdown as lawmakers stare down a midnight deadline. can the president bring clarity to the negotiations after helping create the chaos? face to face after being summoned to the white house, senate democratic leader chuck
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schumer says his meeting with the president led to good progress. we're following all the last-minute deal making as the clock runs down. placing blame, republicans and democrats are gaming up the political fallout if the shutdown happens. our new poll shows nearly half of all americans are ready to point fingers at the president or his party. and porn star payoff? hush money reportedly paid to a former adult film star who allegedly had a past affair with president trump. did mr. trump's lawyer use secret names and a shell company to buy her silence? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news on last-minute negotiations to prevent a government shutdown less than six hours from now.
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it's a very, very fluid situation. anything could still happen with paychecks and services for millions and millions of americans on the line. this hour, i'll talk to senators in both parties including republican senator dan sullivan. he's standing by live. along with our kroecorresponden and analysts. jim acosta is at the white house. we're told the president right now is still actively involved? >> reporter: i think that's right, wolf blitzer. president trump is still in search of that art of the deal. he has spoken to a lot of people today, chuck schumer and paul ryan within just the last hour. we're hearing there are smoke signals coming from capitol hill. that was the phrase used by the senior white house official. smoke signals coming from capitol hill giving them reason for optimism, but the clock is still ticking down to a shutdown. president trump declined to answer questions about the looming government shutdown, preferring to do his talking behind closed doors with a
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special guest. no, not with fellow republicans but with senate minority leader chuck schumer. a source said it was a sign the president wants a deal. schumer returned to capitol hill apparently without an agreement. >> we made some progress but we still have a good number of disagreements. the discussions will continue. >> reporter: despite their party being in control of the white house and congress -- >> we're preferring for what we're calling the schumer shutdown. >> reporter: trump administration officials are saying don't blame us. how can it be the schumer shutdown when republicans control the white house, the house and the senate? >> come on. you know the answer to that as well as everybody. i have to laugh when people say that. you know as well as anybody that it takes 60 votes in the senate to pass the appropriations bill. you know that. if you only have 51 votes in the senate, you have to have democrat support to fund the government. >> reporter: while democrats are
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glad schumer is negotiating with the president, republicans are struggling to keep their members fully on board for a short-term spending bill or cr. >> i'm not going to vote for a 30-day cr. >> reporter: senator lindsey graham put his finger on the problem. gop leaders won't yield to a bipartisan effort to shield the d.r.e.a.m.ers from deportation. graham is taking swings at hard liners in his own party. >> the tom cotton approach has no viability here. >> reporter: the immigration talks broke down and the shutdown threat mushroomed after the president's racially offensive language dashed homes for a fix to the daca program for d.r.e.a.m.ers. >> congress was in the room. members of congress were in the room with the president last
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week. it seemed to be a fairly productive meeting. then the whole process got blown up. if i may, it seems that the whole process was blown up by the president's comments. >> republicans tried to add -- what the republicans -- what republicans tried to add a discussion about obamacare to the funding process in 2013, we are accused by nancy pelosi and chuck schumers inserting a nonfinancial issue into the spending issue to shut the government down. there is no reason you have to deal with daca this week. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed, even at critical agencies like the cdc. the president need only look back to his past comments to figure out where the buck stops in washington. >> problems start from the top and they have to get solved from
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the top. the president is the leader. he's got to get everybody in the room and he has to lead. if there's a shutdown, i think it would be a tremendously negative mark on the president of the united states. he's the one who has to get people together. >> reporter: the president just fwe tweeted about this meeting with chuck schumer. he described that meeting as an excellent preliminary meeting with senator schumer. making progress, he said, a four-week extension would be best. we should just point out in the last several minutes a white house official came by our booth inside the white house and said that a short-term cr, a five-day cr, continuing resolution, is a, quote, nonstarter. so the white house is drawing a bit of a line in the sand at this point in that if they agree to something tonight, it is going to be a longer term continuing resolution. when they're just talking about
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the number of days that are going to be a part of that cr, that is obviously a negotiating give, if you will, in that they're not saying it has to be what was passed out of the house last night, although they are running out of time if they want to get something out of the senate and signed by the president before midnight. >> he said the president has tweeted a four-week extension would be best. he didn't say he would reject anything shorter than that. we shall see. let's go up to capitol hill to find out what's happening and what we can expect in the few hours leading up to the potential shutdown. our congressional correspondent phil mattingly is joining us. >> reporter: there are an urgency to the talks ongoing right now, democrats trying to figure out some pathway forward to prevent a shutdown that would occur in less than six hours. what there is not is a clear pathway forward. i was just talking to one democratic aide who said there's a lot of hurry up and wait right
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now. we know somebothing needs to ge done but we're not quite sure how to get there. mitch mcconnell has made clear that the house-passed short-term funding bill is the bill he considers the only one on the table right now. the majority has been in close touch with john kelly throughout the day. he was aware of the meeting with senator schumer before it happened, was briefed on the meeting after it happened. and he remains very content, i'm told, to continue the posture and the position he's had up to this point. he's happy to let this hang out there and let democrats try to fiend their w find their way out of this. when it comes to the actual policy itself, there is no daca resolution on the table, there is no major changes on the table in terms of a long-term spending bill. right now they're talking about
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timing, not policy. that appears to be where their negotiations have gone up to this point. they plan on having a vote tonight, a vote that they know will fail. as of now, nobody knows what happens after that. tonight millions of americans are watching what happens here in washington with a vested interest. a shutdown would certainly have enormous ramifications for people all across the country. cnn government regulation correspondent renee marsh is joining us. if the clock strikes mid night and there's no deal, who will be affected? >> beyond the nation's capital people will feel this. the longer the shutdown drags on, the more painful it will be for americans. certain services will be stopped, some will be delayed. if you are a senior and unt to file a new claim for benefits, you will not be able to. if you've already received social security benefits, you will receive your check. however, if you have a sick kid and depend on government
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assistance programs for medical coverage, your child may lose coverage if this shutdown drags on for weeks. the cdc would back down its flu tracking program as the nation faces its worst outbreak in years. as for medicaid and medicare, in the short-term it would not be disrupted. people who keep us safe will remain on the job, law enforcement, military, national security employees. the mail service will continue. if you're traveling, air traffic control will still be on the job safely directing those aircraft. tsa, customs and border protection, they will still be on the front lines at airports and on our borders. federal courts will remain open. so do the veteran hospitals. however, for those veterans looking to get new benefits, file a new claim, they will not
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be able to. they will feel that delay. as for the national parks, they will all remain open, but there won't be any trash pickup. all of the smithsonian museums will be closed. the longer this drags out, the more painful it will be. one current estimate shows that shutting down the government would cost taxpayers some $6 billion a week. let's here from a key member of the united states senate. we're joined by republican senator dan sullivan. he serves on the armed service committee, represents the state of alaska. what's your understanding, senator, where does it stand at this moment? >> right now the democrats' position continues to be the same one, which is unless there's a daca deal by tonight, according to their terms, they're going to move to force a
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shutdown of the government. that's where they've been. right now it's in the hands of senator schumer and his colleagues. i'm hopeful that they'll see that that's not a good way to go. >> that would be a relatively simple way to avert a government shutdown and move on the for example the compromised proposal put forward by your republican colleague lindsey graham and dick durbin were simply attached as an amendment. you want the d.r.e.a.m.ers to be able to stay here in the united states in any case, right? >> i think getting a deal on immigration is important. but the key issue on that is we have time. we do have time. where we don't have time is with regard to the government. so tonight at midnight, the government shuts down. your program is doing a good job of saying here are all the americans who are going to be hurt. in particular the military is going to be hurt. >> you have to compromise with the democrats. you don't completely control the senate. in this particular case you need
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60 votes. you have 51. senator mccain is not going to be here. you need democrats. in washington to get a job done, you've got to compromise. >> i think there's going to be compromise on an immigration agreement. to be honest, we've been actually making good progress on that. but that's traking some time. we need a legislative solution. that has been something that congress has dealt with for almost 13 years without a solution. >> they don't necessarily want comprehensive immigration reform if you listen to lindsey graham. they just want a short-term deal to allow the 800,000 or so daca recipients to remain legally in the united states. >> it's an outline of a deal that would include a permanent resolution for the daca recipients, border security and some other immigration related issues. the point is, we have time for
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that. what is the challenge now is we don't have time on the funding side. to have senator schumer and his slee colleagues say, take the deal right now or we're going to force the government shutdown. >> i think what senator schumer is saying, you know what, do a four or five or six day extension so the negotiations can continue. >> right now we have a short-term extension in front of us which would give us time. by the way, the extension also addresses another big bipartisan issue the republicans and democrats have been talking about. a long solution to chip. >> the children's health insurance program. it's very important. republicans support it, democrats support it. >> it's in the deal. >> to the democrats, that's still not enough. it's a little ironic because a lot of my democratic colleagues
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have been talking about a full long-term extension of that program. we have an opportunity to not just not shut down the government tonight but actually bring resolution and comfort to millions of americans who have been worried about chip as well. i think my cheolleagues should vote for the deal. >> why have you waited? the chip is bipartisan. you want poor kids to have health insurance. 9 million kids are potentially affected. why hasn't that been done before? why couldn't it have been done in a separate piece of legislation over these many months? >> i thought it should have been done before christmas. i agree with you on that. >> the republicans have been using that as leverage on the democrats to support this extension to avert a government shutdown. >> there's been strong bipartisan support for chip. it was a senator hatch and senator kennedy bill that got it going in the first place. that's another opportunity that we have tonight.
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it's another reason that the democrats should support the cr tonight. we get chip, we get more time to negotiate a deal on immigration that's satisfactory and we don't shut down the government, which is going to hurt a lot of americans. >> it certainly well. we know the impact. what's encouraging, i must say the president did invite chuck schumer over to the white house for a private meeting in the oval office and then the president tweeted excellent preliminary meeting in oval with senator schumer, working on solutions for security. making progress, four-week extension would be best. he is deeply involved. if there's going to be a deal, he's got to sell it, especially to conservative republicans in the house. that's probably where the big problem would be. but he's very sensitive to his role as president. listen to what he said years ago back in 2013 when there was a shutdown during president
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obama's administration. >> and the president in all fairness he's the leader. he's the one who has to get everybody in a room and get it done. they're not going to be talking about boehner and reed. they're going to be talking about president obama and what a disaster the administration is. he does have pressure to get this problem solved. he's got a big problem. >> that's what he said then and i assume he still believes that. >> i think it's positive that the president is involved today, but the truth of the matter is right now as we come to this deadline, the decision whether or not the government's going to be shut down is really in the hands of senator schumer and his colleagues. i'm hopeful that they're going to support -- >> i know you, senator. it's in the hands of both republicans and democrats. the democrats want certain things, the republicans want certain things. in a situation like this you've got to compromise. >> we're going to compromise on immigration. there's no doubt about it. but like as i mentioned, we have
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time to get there. that's a complicated issue. it's taken congress many, many years. what we don't have time with regard to tonight is we're running out of time in terms of the government, in terms of funding the government. i don't think moving forward with a government shutdown is going to be in anyone's interests. i'm hopeful that we're going to get that kind of compromise so we don't have a government shutdown. >> a lot of your constituents in alaska are either federal employees, civilian employees, military personnel or they're recipients of the federal government. how do you explain to them this level of chaos that's currently going on here in washington? >> this is another reason i'm so focused on making sure we don't have a shutdown tonight. it's going to hurt a lot of americans, particularly federal employees. the system with regard to our budgeting, our funding, i think, is clearly broken. the other thing we have to do is
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look at long-term reforms. there's a number of the new senators led by david perdue from georgia looking at ways to make sure we don't keep doing these crs or omnibuses at the end of the year that are these massive spending bills. we're trying to get democrats interested in these long-term reforms. but tonight the most immediate thing is to keep our government open and not shut down the government. i'm hoping that my colleagues in the senate, democrats and republicans will agree and we pass this cr in a couple hours. >> a lot of us are hoping that. those of us who have lived through these government shutdowns here in washington and elsewhere know the pain that's going to be suffered as a result and the enormous cost to american taxpayers down the road, loss in revenue, loss in the economy. it's a big, big deal. good luck. >> thank you. >> senator dan sullivan of alaska. just ahead, we're going to get another update on all the last-ditch efforts to keep the government running.
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i'll ask a democratic senator what he's learning. he's going to have to compromise as well. stay with us. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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i use herpecin l.re, it penetrates deep to treat. it soothes, moisturizes, and creates an spf 30 barrier, to protect against flare-ups caused by the sun. herpecin l. live pictures from the senate floor right now. senator casey now speaking. lawmakers are talking as behind the scenes negotiations continue on avoiding a government shutdown. tonight as the shutdown gets closer and closer, we're told president trump is working the phones from the white house.
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we're following all the breaking developments at the white house up on capitol hill before midnight, the midnight deadline. let's bring in our analysts. david challion this is what the president tweeted. excellent preliminary meeting with senator schumer, working on solutions. making progress. four-week extension would be best. so are they getting closer and closer to averting a government shutdown? >> why are there preliminary meetings with 12 hours to go before the government shutdown shuts down. clearly the whole process has one amuck. clearly there is some -- chuck
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schumer is still huddling with his fellow democrats try to tell them what they believes could be the outline of a deal. it still seems pretty dpiskt to me how we're just all of a sudden have chuck schumer emerge with some deal. he hasn't talked to mitch mcconnell all day long. and the house has pass add bill here. i don't even know how the senate is going to pass something that could automatically avert this entirely. mitch mcconnell still does not have 60 votes. we still don't have the contours of any deal at all. it would cause a little alarm that preliminary is happening just before the deadline. >> usually i see the middle ground here. but i don't see it here because one side says da ca in the bill one side says no daca in the bill. looks like the republicans are ten votes short at least.
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i just don't see the compromise emerging right now in any way, shape or form. >> i spoke with nick mulvaney, the director of the office of management and budget. i want you to listen carefully to what he said to me. >> probably the only way you could avoid any shutdown -- again, we're on a weekend, so we get a little bit more flexibility here. the only way to avoid an entire shutdown would probably be for the senate to pass what the house has passed already. >> unlikely the senate is going to pass exactly what the house passed with 230 votes yesterday. >> right. especially if democrats decide it is important for them to have immigration as part of this deal. it looks like that's where they're at right now. i think at the heart of this really is a fundamental political question. do democrats believe this is an important enough issue for their base that they would shut down the government. and many democrats, the answer
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is yes right now. i think democrats are probably also looking at what happened during the government shutdown in 2013. the polling after that showed that most americans blamed republicans for the shutdown. but then in 2013 republicans won the senate. so there wasn't really any sort of consequence for what they did. >> you're getting some new information, david? >> yeah. our congressional reporter lauren fox is just reporting some color that's happening outside. there is a bipartisan meeting going on right now trying to figure a way forward here. tey apparently opened the door and saw the press waiting out the door. somebody could be overheard asking is there a different door we could go out of because clearly they didn't want to answer the questions. they went out a different door except angus king, who seemed unusually upset and would not comment on the status of how things were going. that doesn't sound very
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positive. >> phil mud used to work at the cia, used to work at the fbi. how does a government shutdown affect law enforcement, the intelligence community, national security? >> i wish the american people understood this, because it's painful. it's not painful in a bad way. i mean, i would expect that if there is a shutdown to be relatively short. going over the weekend and early into next week, even if you're told you're not getting paid, you know going into this situation that when they come up with a deal you're going to get a paycheck at the end of the game. you're not going to lose money. people like me are going to show up if there's a crisis or you have a breaking situation and see what's going on. you're not going to suffer a shortfall. the really ugly piece is american people are paying for a vacation for federal employees. do they know that? people say if you want to pay me to take three days off or five
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days off and give me the check at the end of the day, feel free. this is not on federal employees. this is on democrats and republicans who can't compromise or figure out how to negotiate. >> yeah. 800,000 or so federal employees will be furloughed. they're not going to get paid while they're furloughed but they will be getting back pay afterwards. that's what happened during the 16 days of the government shutdown in 2016. they get their back pay even though they were, as you say, effectively on vacation during those days. we have a new poll. which is more important, avoiding a shutdown, 56% say avoiding a shutdown. or passing daca to hen the d.r.e.a.m.ers, 34%. >> i think it's that kind of poll finding that's giving these red state democrats to say i'm going to go a different way than the rest of my party here and
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i'm going comfortable doing so. the majority of americans don't think this is the thing. if that's true nationwide, you could imagine how much larger that number is in some of these deep red states like north dakota or west virginia or indiana. all these democratic senators have said they're going to vote yes on this cr. >> the president's approval number has actually gone up over the past month or so. right now 40% of the american public approve of the job he's doing. 55% disapprove. but that's an improvement from a month ago. >> right. he's been at 37, 38. maybe the tax cut helped him a little bit. a government shutdown when you're the president does not make it look like you're in charge, does not show you leading the country very well. i think that will probably not help him. that said, do i think the democrats are in a tough spot here because the polling suggests people want to avoid a shutdown. democrats in 2013 tried to avoid
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a shutdown. democrats don't usually like to take this kind of aggressive track. i think you're seeing the base of the party get more involved. they pushed some of the more progovernment senators, they sort of jumped into this away that surprised me over the last few days. the party has been unified around a shutdown right now. >> we're getting more information from capitol hill. even as we speak, there are developments unfolding, urgent talks underway. we're following the breaking news. a last-ditch scramble to avert a government shutdown only a few hours away. the president has gotten personally involved. reporting progress coming in from the senate up on capitol hill. there have been reports of bewilderment, confusion, lots of information. stand by. a little to the left.
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we're looking at live pictures of the u.s. capital, a lovely shot indeed. but there are intense negotiations underway right now. president trump is claiming progress toward avoiding a government shutdown that's on track to happen just after the stroke of midnight, unless the current stalemate is broken and a deal is reached. let's get a quick update on the last-ditch maneuvers on capitol hill right now.
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>> reporter: just to give you a sense of what's actually happening right now, you basically have three stages of where things are moving or not moving at all. you have speaker ryan's office where white house officials including legislative affairs director mark short have been shutting in and out. members of conference have been going in and out of meetings. a couple hundred feet away from that you have a senate floor. that's a place where you have relatively little action and that's a surprise. we expected numerous votes. senator mitch mcconnell stated that he wanted to in a way punish democrats for not agreeing to this bill. it's very clear at this moment they still don't have the votes to move forward on that short-term funding proposal. move about 20 feet away from the senate floor where senator chuck schumer is still holed up. i'm told that schumer and his team are continuing conversations with the white house at this hour trying to build on that 90-minute meeting
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from earlier today. where is it all going to end up? that's the big question. i had one senator walk up to me and say do you know what's happening right now? the rank and file have no sense of what's actually moving forward. there's palpable frustration about the lack of details that they're getting, the lack of path forward. and the recognition that the clock is ticking down. it's not something that can be solved quickly. there is no big, long-term deal that can be addressed in just a short number of hours. what actually is the pathway forward? senator majority leader mitch mcconnell still plans to have that vote to move forward on that spending bill later tonight. a third democrat has come out and said they're in favor of it. that doesn't mean they have the votes but it underscores the dynamics democrats are dealing with now, facing difficult choices here as the base of the
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party continues to push them forward to not give the votes there. i think the key issue right now as we watch the clock tick down is, is there an end game at all. people say something's happening, talks are clearly ongoing. but as of now a final proposal, even a final potential proposal still not in the works, at least not publicly, wolf. >> not yet. phil, thank you very much. it's important to note that the president tweeted excellent preliminary meeting in oval with senator schumer. making progress. 61% in our new poll say it's either very or extremely important to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. that puts a lot of pressure on democrats and republicans to come up with a compromise. >> i wonder who the 36% are who don't want them to come together. that's very odd. that said, we've been through this for six years now. we have these almost shutdowns,
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near shutdowns constantly. i think the public is exhausted by these and is constantly like let's just fix it. trump campaigned on the idea he would bring washington together. my sense of him right now in the shutdown is he's kind of involved. he had a meeting at the last moment. he didn't go to mar-a-lago after all. but he's still not really leading the country in any way. he's not really in charge of these fiscal matters and it's not clear he can bring everybody together in a compromise. >> three democratic senators have said they will vote in favor of this republican proposed legislation. there you see him right there. two republicans, land say gram and ra -- lindsey graham and rand paul say they are going to vote no. in a vote like this, you need 60. there's still a long way to go. >> yes. according to that point, mitch mcconnell is still eight votes away. he needs to find 11.
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>> senator mccain is in arizona recovering from his cancer. >> exactly. he's still quite aways away, mitch mcconnell is, having 6 0 votes to move the process forward to pass the house bill. that seems unlikely that this house bill is going to all of a sudden get 60 votes. we're trying to figure out what is happening in speaker ryan's office right now, what is happening when the white house staff is up on capitol hill. there's nothing that they can say we've solved it and democrats are all on board here. >> how united are the democrats? >> incredibly united. democrats together decided to oppose this bill on the house bill. on the senate side we're going to see maybe a few democrats, three of as of right now, who can support the short-term cr. these are democrats from these
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read state red states where they're going to be up for reelection this year and feel vulnerable politically potentially. but not enough democrats to get this over the finish line. for the most part,democrats recognize that their base is very energized by this immigration issue. >> you're getting more information david. >> our reporteder reporter repa house democratic leadership meeting has been called. obviously house members who thought they were going to be out of town by now have been hanging around to figure is this something that's going to come back to them. prams th perhaps they've gotten a read on what's going on in speaker ryan's office and leader pelosi wants to give them a sechbs of where they are. the house democratic part of this seems rather done at the moment. >> if the senate were to pass
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something different than what the house passed last night, it's got to go back to the house for another vote. >> and if the senate does change what the house voted, they're probably going to change it in a way that's going to make it more difficult for paul ryan to keep his party unified. they may need some house democrats. >> the last time there was a government shutdown it was 16 days during the obama administration in 2013. then donald trump was a private citizen. listen to how he assessed the then-president of the united states and his responsibility. >> and the president, in all fairness, he's the leader. he's the one that has to get everybody in a room and get it done. they're not going to be talking about boehner and reed. they're going to be talking about president obama and what a disaster the administration was. he does have a lot of pressure to get this problem solved. he's got a big problem. >> president trump right now fully understands he also has a big problem. >> that's right. he was dead right then and i
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think he's dead right now. furthermore i think he's already told us what's going to happen. let's predict the future. he talks about the wall, but he talks about the wall in terms that sound to me more like sensors and drones. that is a smart border but not a physical wall. he talks about chain migration and the lottery. i think a lot of people in congress and i'm a regular american citizen would think chain migration lottery can go. i don't understand them in the first place. then he talked about compromise on -- if you give us a smart border that doesn't exactly equal a wall, if you give some on chain migration, i'll give you some on da ka and we've got a deal. he's got to get rid of the fringe, people like tom cotton who want to pull him hard right
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like they did a week ago and go back to the compromise he suggested when he first met with the centrists, dick durbin and lindsey graham. >> is there going to be a daca fix, something that will allow the d.r.e.a.m.ers once and for all to have permanent legal status here in the united states? they were brought here as little kids illegally, but they've grown up here in the united states. will there be a daca fix that will eventually result down the road and their ability to become u.s. citizens? >> more than 8 in 10 americans want to see that be. when more than 8 in 10 americans wants something, congress usually finds a way of doing it more often than not. people on both sides have said that. what has happened, there's been such a breakdown of trust that the sides would work together to accomplish that goal.
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>> everybody sand btand by. there's new information coming from the white house. >> reporter: i just talked to a senior white house official over here who said they do expect at the white house, they do expect there to be a vote in the senate tonight on the house continuing resolution that was passed last night. they expect there to be a vote over in the senate on that. the question, though, at this point, wolf blitzer, is whether there will be any kind of modifications to that house continuing resolution. obviously even though there were some red state democrats who were saying they may be inclined to vote in favor of this, this aren't enough votes toget to 60. they need 60 votes to get this out of the senate. i think the question is whether this goes to the senate floor, it's voted on, it doesn't pass, and then some kind of amendment or modification is made and would it go back to the house at
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this point. i asked this senior white house official, is this vote going to be on the house cr. and the senior white house official said, yes, the house cr, quote, for now. that appears to be some kind of indication that things are fluid at this point and something else could be voted on before it's all said and done. they do expect over here at the white house to be some kind of vote tonight in the senate on this house continuing resolution. at this point, nobody has given us any indication this is going to pass the senate tonight. >> if it were to pass the senate and if there were modifications, it would then have to go back to the house for passage as well. how far are democrats willing to go to avoid a government shutdown? i'll speak live with chris van holland there joining us from capitol hill. this, as the clock ticks down toward the deadline. hi i'm joan lunden.
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government goes towards a swo n shutdown. who serves on budget committee. senator, thanks so much for joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> i know you senate democrats have a meeting scheduled in an
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hour from now. where do things stand? >> well, wolf, there have been ongoing discussions. and as both senator shchumer sad and white house said progress but unsettled issues so people are still talking. we have to work on a bipartisan basis to prevent a government shutdown. and i should say we are four months into the fiscal year with no budget. we are operating month to month. republicans and democrats agree that's no way to run a government. and so we need to address that and provide funding for our veterans, the spokesperson for the defense department just said yesterday this is hurting our military, going from cr to cr. so let's get this done. >> what's going to happen, senator, in the next five hours? >> well, it's still up in the air. what i can tell you, wolf, is people are still working hard to try to resolve it. i was disappointed last night, because we are very close in the
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united states senate to agreement on all these issues. then senator mcconnell said instead of moving forward and exercising our own constitutional responsibilities here in the senate, we had to wait until he figured out what president trump wanted to do. senator mcconnell said he didn't know what president trump wanted to do but we had to wait for him. i don't know why we have to wait. >> presumably senator the president today in the 90 minute meeting with schumer told him what he wants, right? >> it's not exactly clear where we are. lots of issues in play. but we saw what happened a couple weeks ago. we saute president of the united states bring senators together on bipartisan basis. he said figure out a bipartisan deal and i'll sign it. and then lindsey graham, dick durbin and others came up with a deal strong bipartisan support, then the president in that meeting where he used those
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repulsive racist remarks, he blew the whole thing up. my view is the senate should exercise its constitutional responsibilities. we should not be contracting that out to the white house, which has been incredibly dysfunctional. i hope the president can help us here. after all, he said obama should have prevented the last government shutdown. but even if we can't get the white house on board as hours go down, i hope we can, mitch mcconnell should put forward what we have here in the senate, which is a bipartisan agreement. let's do our job. and by the way the president said he would sign it. at least he said that originally. >> three of your democrat colleagues say they are yes on short-term continuing resolution. does that worry you? >> no. i think everybody is looking at this legislation and deciding what's to do best. also republicans, like lindsey graham, and some others, who are going to vote with the democrats. because they think it's crazy
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that we are running this government month to month. and they know as well that we are very close here in the senate to an agreement. and, you know rgs lindsey graham said that the white house was an unreliable negotiating partner. heck, you had th chief of staff to the white house saying that the president was uninformed on some of these issues. so, look, i hope we can bring the white house along here. that would be great. but most importantly, the senate, mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, needs to put forward an agreement that we have here, a bipartisan agreement. >> so be specific. what do you need tonight to be added to this continuing resolution that will avert a government shutdown and allow the democrats to vote yea? >> so, wolf, we need to make sure that we fund our veterans health care. we need to make sure we have funding to address the opioid epidemic. this has been going on for months and months. there has been a lot of talk but no action. we need to address that. we need to address the other
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parts of the budget, both on the military side and on the education side. we should address, because there is already agreement on it, the issue of daca. we have a bipartisan majority here in the senate. now, are we going to it be able to dot all the is and cross all the t's tonight? no. that's why we should do what a number of republican senators propose, do three or four days, don't drag it on for another month, so keep the government open, and then come together on the deal, which really in the senate is really in place with the exception of some final touches. >> when it comes to immigration and border security, is there any way that the graham durbin deal the compromise they worked out republican and democrat could pass if it were added night to the continuing resolution? >> absolutely it could pass. because it has overwhelming democrat support. democrat support. you already have 7 republican
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senators on board with that agreement. it could fly through here tonight. we could pass it in the next ten minutes if senator mcconnell would put that up to a vote. that's what's been so disappointing. because agreement is here in the senate. i don't know why we have to wait and figure out what president trump wants to do. let's pass it. he said if we got an agreement he would sign it. if he wants to change his mind, that's up to him. but let's do our job right here. let's do it tonight. and if we can't get it all done tonight, take a couple days, finalize it, get it done early next week. >> your job among other things is to get democrats elected to the senate. in the midterm elections, 56% of americans now say in our new poll more important to fund the government than to pass the daca legislation. are you listening to them? >> well, i'm definitely listening to the american people. and all of us are, which is why we are working to get a bipartisan agreement. this is not just about daca versus keeping the government
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open. it's about making sure we have a budget that provides certainty for our military, make sure we fund the veterans, opioid epidemic. there is lots to get done and we can do it. >> thanks for joining us. good luck. >> thank you very much wolf. >> that's it for me. thanks for watching looming government shutdown continues now with erin burnett out front. out front next, breaking news, race against the clock. just hours away from a shut down, and there is no deal. plus a republican claims to have evidence of fbi miss steps in the 2016 election. is this real or is it just another attempt to derail the russia investigation? and shell company pure potaport used to pay a porn star for a relationship with donald trump.